Another Labor Day weekend at Ocean Isle has come and gone without you, Miss Emily. It was a picture perfect weekend and as always, my thoughts were of you and the memories that we made and shared at our favorite beach. I smiled thinking back on all the family moments, but I smiled even more inside remembering all of those afternoons when everyone else had had too much sun and retreated in doors, leaving you and I alone sitting together watching that enormous ocean and soaking in the moments that are now even more of a treasure for me. Sharing those moments between mother and daughter that I miss more than there are words to express.
It was "our" time.........it was a mother and daughter sharing our hearts openly and oh my goodness your laughter that warmed my heart and melted me and I fell in love with you all over again. As I sat there this weekend, I remembered that late afternoon when you and I were lying on a blanket and we witnessed such a beautiful and sweet wedding just a few feet from where we were laying. A beautiful young woman dressed in jeans and a white spaghetti-strapped tank and boots. And her groom, just as simply dressed in jeans and white shirt. Together, along with one sole minister, and before God, they faced one another and pledged their love for each other. And there you and I were, sandy, salty, sticky, and suntan-lotion lathered watching it as if it were on the big screen of a romantic movie. They each picked up a handful of sand and placed it into a bottle, symbolic of their new life together. Truly, it was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever seen. You commented that you couldn't wait to one day find your Prince Charming and that, you too, planned on being married on that very beach where I sat this weekend.
Oh the plans and the hopes and the dreams that you talked of. Graduating high school in just one year and going on to college. Following your heart and relying on guidance from The One that has been within your heart from such a young age. You had the world at your feet and your enthusiasm for life truly took my breath away.
Last night as I laid in bed my heart and my head just couldn't get insync. I know where you are. I know you are wanting nor needing absolutely nothing and it is pure and constant joy for you. And that, my sweet girl, makes me so happy and so peaceful.........but then..........my head and my heart begin this battle that rages and tears me inside out. You don't need me anymore. All of the things that you once relied upon me for and the things that only I could make right and fix - the things that I could kiss away, or lend an ear or shoulder for........they, like you, are gone. For 17 years I was that person in your life..........and now I'm not. I want to be your mother again and I want to be needed by you again and it's simply not possible. That rips my heart to the very core. Those are the struggles that I am trying to overcome today. I know you're safe....I know you're in the place that I have absolutely no worries - but oh how I miss being your Mom.
I miss your sweet smile, your beauty, your zest for life and the way you could always make everything all right when it all seemed so wrong. You were that person in our family. The one that would crack a joke when things were too serious. The one that brought everything back into perspective. The one that taught us what truly mattered. I miss you setting me straight when I forget those things. I miss your beautiful blue eyes and your contagious laugh. The way I could be so stressed one minute and you'd come in and turn it all around. I miss you coming down in the morning for school in the dead of winter with your northface jacket, holey jeans and rainbows!!! I miss how your car was your closet.........and as you are running out the door for school I ask where your jacket, shoes, sweatshirt......whatever you don't have on you but need, and hear you reply "they are in my car, Mom.......no worries". I miss how you'd call me the very minute you landed in the student parking lot and leave a message on my voicemail at work that I would find when I got into the office. I miss that at precisely 2:15, my office phone would ring and you would fill me in on your day and tell me you were off to cheerleading practice. And, then, you'd call again when you were leaving for home. I miss the post it notes I'd find on my steering column telling me how much God loved me..........and how beautiful I was.......when all I felt was so unworthy. Mature and wise beyond your years. An old soul that loved so unconditionally.
I miss you............everything about you. And I am lost without you here. I pray every night for a glimpse of you in my dreams.......I long for that. Just for a minute, ok?